Day 1: Silence & Solitude

Video, Audio and Written Guides for Morning and Evening Prayer

Morning Prayer

Video Podcast Coming Soon

ETA Autumn 2021

OPENING PRAYER

We gather this morning to create a space at this threshold moment to listen for another voice to be heard. May inner silence and solitude be our companions as we move into a world of noise and stimulation.

OPENING SONG

Breathe In

FIRST READING: Howard Thurman

I abandon all that I think I am, all that I hope to be, all that I believe I possess. I let go of the past, I withdraw my grasping hand from the future, and in the great silence of this moment, I alertly rest my soul.

SUNG PSALM OPENING

O Love, open my lips and my mouth will declare your praise. (Repeat)

PSALM  34

How exactly do I do this?

By opening my heart in gratitude and praise

for all the gifts of life.

By focusing on the astounding intricacy of the world.

By attending to the still small voices of healing and renewal

which save me in times of trouble.

And by loving life and honoring that gift,

speaking truth, doing good, seeking peace.

When I serve the highest I know

I serve whatever God there is.

The joy of this, no matter what my troubles, will keep me whole.

 

SUNG DOXOLOGY

Glory to the Maker, Lover, and Keeper; as ago, in this breath, and will be ever. Amen, Amen.

SECOND READING: Gospel of Mark (Mark 6:31-33)

He said to them, ‘Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.’ For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves. Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them.

SILENT CONTEMPLATION

PRAYERS OF CONCERN

We offer prayers now for all that is in our hearts.

Nurturing God, amid the busyness of our lives, we long for spaciousness.  Gift us with moments to stop, still and open to that which is before us.  Draw our attention to simple things, an ant scurrying on the ground, a leaf blowing in the wind.  In our gazing, may we discover wonder and the joy of profound and life-giving inner peace.

Sung Response – O God of Love, nourish us in silence

Whispering God, amid the background noise of our lives, we struggle to hear your still, small voice.  In frustration, we cry out, pleading with you to catch our attention.  But the more we plead, the quieter you seem.  Release us from our efforts.  Give us patience to rest in silence.  Then we will incline our hearts towards you and trust the whispers of our souls as your self-revelation.

Sung Response – O God of Love, nourish us in silence

Loving God, amid the many demands of our lives, we yearn to quiet our restless minds.  Our thoughts wander distractedly, flitting from one thing to another, exhausting us with their constant chatter.  Yet, you call us to come away to a solitary place and rest in you.  May we follow your call and open to the gift of silence that holds and heals, soothes and sustains.

Sung Response – O God of Love, nourish us in silence

Please add the prayers you are longing to express.

Sung Response – O God of Love, nourish us in silence

 

CLOSING SONG

Deep Peace

CLOSING BLESSING

Holy Source of Silence,

beneath the clatter and din of the everyday

you offer your mysteries to our hearts.

You call us to pause,

to slow down and listen to the true longing

planted in each of us by you, a seed of holy desire.

Support us in letting go of the inner and outer noise.

Open wide in us a sacred cave for stillness

where we can attune to your presence.
Enliven us with the gift of your sweet music

and allow us to encounter your holy presence

flaming in each of our hearts.

Help us to catch a note of your song

in the wind or in the voice of another,

in times of sadness, and in the rush of our lives.
In a world so filled with distraction,

we listen for your whispers

which call us to another way of being.
and ask for the courage to respond to all

we discover in this tabernacle of silence.

 

SUNG AMEN

Credits

All songs and texts used with permission

Opening Prayer written by Christine Valters Paintner

Opening SongBreathe In by Peter Mayer

First Reading from Howard Thurman, Deep is the Hunger.

Richmond, IN: Friends United Press (1978).

Sung Psalm Opening and Doxology by Richard Bruxvoort Colligan

Interpretation of Psalm 34 by Rev. Christine Robinson

Second Reading from Mark 6:31-33 (NRSV)

Prayers of Concern written by Valerie Allen

Sung Response written by Betsey Beckman, sung by Simon de Voil and Alexa Sunshine Rose

Closing Song: Deep Peace by Sara Thomsen

Closing Blessing: written by Christine Valters Paintner

 

Please note: All of the Opening and Closing Songs are published on CDs in the Abbey of the Arts collection. In addition, these songs have accompanying gesture prayers and/or dances created by Betsey Beckman that can be found on the corresponding DVD (each album has a DVD companion).  The Psalm Opening, Doxology, and the Response to the Prayers of Concern also have accompanying congregational gestures. The audio and video recordings of these are available at AbbeyoftheArts.com.

Evening Prayer

Video Podcast Coming Soon

ETA Autumn 2021

OPENING PRAYER

Let us reflect on how we embraced silence today. When were the moments we sought out stillness and let it bathe us with its beauty? How can I commit again to deep peace?

OPENING SONG

In the Silence

SUNG PSALM OPENING

O Love, open my lips and my mouth will declare your praise. (Repeat)

PSALM  46

God is our refuge and our strength

a haven in times of trouble.

Therefore we can be calm though the earth shakes,

though the nations change, and though the sea rises.

Our trust is in the Holy One

who is making the heavens in the earth

Who is with us in the midst of the city

and in our own hearts.

 

See the miracles that are a part of our lives!

and the longings for peace and justice in our hearts

and the way we can make our lives abundant

in nearly any circumstance.

God whispers to us, “Be still and know that I am God.

I am with you to the ends of the universe,

and through all time”

 

SUNG DOXOLOGY

Glory to the Maker, Lover, and Keeper; as ago, in this breath, and will be ever. Amen, Amen.

READING OF THE NIGHT: Thomas Merton

When your tongue is silent, you can rest in the silence of the forest. When your imagination is silent, the forest speaks to you, tells you of its unreality and of the Reality of God. But when your mind is silent, then the forest becomes magnificently real and blazes transparently with the Reality of God.

SILENT CONTEMPLATION

CLOSING POEM

Listen by Christine Valters Paintner

I wake to a rising of robin voices,

their tiny chests puffed like ripe persimmons.

Acres of clouds strum across the day-blue sky,

wind breathes its endless score over heathered hills

and the sea beyond my window churns.

 

Somewhere a hazelnut drops rustling to the ground.

Peony peels herself open in a slow yawn

to reveal a multitude of pleasures.

Fox darts between hedgerows, breaking her silent reverie,

orange fur brushing against golden gorse profusion.

 

Beneath sirens and the perpetual groan of cars,

the march of trains and planes propelled by timetables,

beneath the endless clatter of your own mind, you can,

for a moment, hear the asparagus heaving headlong into spring.

My labor is to love this secret symphony.

 

You curl yourself around me at night,

song of your breath stuns me into the sweetest sleep.

And the blue glass vase sits on the table beside me,

holding roses you bought because they smelled like an aria.

When this is over, all I want to say is that I heard the music

of the very last petal drop.

CLOSING SONG

Be Still

Credits

All songs and texts used with permission

Opening Prayer written by Christine Valters Paintner

Opening Song: In the Silence by John Coleman

Psalm Opening and Doxology by Richard Bruxvoort Colligan

Interpretation of Psalm 46 by Rev. Christine Robinson

Reading of the Night Thomas Merton, A Year with Thomas Merton: Daily Meditations from His Journals.

New York: HarperCollins (2004).

Closing Poem by Christine Valters PaintnerDreaming of Stones. Paraclete Press (2020).

Closing Song: Be Still (Psalm 46) by Simon de Voil

 

Please note: All of the Opening and Closing Songs are published on CDs in the Abbey of the Arts collection. In addition, these songs have accompanying gesture prayers and/or dances created by Betsey Beckman that can be found on the corresponding DVD (each album has a DVD companion).  The Psalm Opening and Doxology also have accompanying congregational gestures. The audio and video recordings of these are available at AbbeyoftheArts.com.